I am glad to see that Brendan Courtney’s insightful documentary “We need to talk about Dad” (aired on RTE 1 on 16th January, 2017) has sparked a national conversation about how we as a society want to care for our older people. We can’t stop ageing! Everyday families are trying to decide what do with a sick parent and have to ask what is best for that parent, what is best for them as a family and what is best for their other parent, who is often very stressed and distressed at the choices they are facing.
Difficult conversations need to be had, but it seems that fear prevents this. We appear to have no problem talking about making provision for the care of our young but when it comes to care for the old we fail to plan. This is everyone’s story – trying to do the right thing for the people we love. However, what is the best option often comes down to what is the affordable option and this is driving people into nursing homes who otherwise could be cared for in their own home. This is due largely because Fair Deal funding is not available for home care.
Our experts say that the best outcomes for older people come from living in and being a part of their community. We need real choice and although changes are promised the existing provision is what we have to work with for now – home care (which is very limited unless paid for privately), family care or nursing home care. For those with high dependency the choice is stark.
Brendan Courtney declared himself “bamboozled about Fair Deal”. I know full well how complex the system is as I have been assisting families with the Fair Deal application process since it was introduced.
You can take some of the stress out of the application process by getting advice from health professionals and those of us familiar with the process. If you are worried about full-time care for a loved one plan ahead – talk about it, ask the questions and make an informed decision.
If you have any queries, please contact me, Teresa O’Sullivan, on 021 489 7663 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information on the Fair Deal Scheme as it currently operates please click this link to our earlier blog.